After Three

Stare.

Stare.

Stare.

Blink.

Breathe.

Breathe.

Breathe.

Drink.

Hot.

Hot.

Hot.

Sweat.

Cold.

Cold.

Cold.

Regret.

Tight.

Tight.

Tight.

Release.

Fight.

Fight.

Fight.

Peace.

Rise.

Rise.

Rise.

Admit.

Sink.

Sink.

Sink.

Forfeit.

Ache.

Ache.

Ache.

Sustain.

Love.

Love.

Love.

Refrain.

Step.

Step.

Step.

Collapse.

Crawl.

Crawl.

Crawl.

MIshaps.

Want.

Want.

Want.

Escape.

Skin.

Skin.

Skin.

Scrape.

Hold.

Hold.

Hold.

Hurt.

Hope.

Hope.

Hope.

Divert.

Look.

Look.

Look.

Away.

Wait.

Wait.

Wait.

Stay.

Know Best

Know Best

No.

Do we know?

Heart screaming

Head calming nodding

Let the tantrum pass

If you give into her

She’ll never learn

No best

There are choices

Some better

Others dead

Paths

Different monster

At each end

Better if you know

Know best

Mother

Until you know

She doesn’t

Seen the dried tears

Painted smiles

Nothing’s wrong baby.

I’m just tired.

But you know.

Like she does.

Yes is not knowing

No stops the battles

Even if it starts the dying.

When you’re dead

Surely you know

What’s best

To keep living.

Until you know.

Heart will love.

Head will say no.

Keep knowing

That the hurt will pass

If the choice was right

Or not.

Another day to listen

Not know.

Know not

about tomorrow

Heart and brain

can manage

Not best.

But better.

Or

another day

To know another

Best.

Slide

Slide

The climb up

fills

every step seems

to soak up through

and build from the sole

to the soul

so that it’s not higher

but more than

greater

above a tally of

numbers

incalculable

What can’t be seen

or figured

when stared up at

from the negative

Equal and opposite

up and down

every contraction

a waiting relaxation

resistance

to elevating

The view from the

peak

mind piqued

that this is the same air

how

when it feels different

less pressure than

on the ground

that can’t be

The ground is waiting

to prove

the thesis

Up is fleeting

Down is stasis

The slide is

inevitable

Only friction

the coefficient

we collude

to ignore

or ennoble

Bottom collecting

its specimens

to return

to the path

For another climb

Inflammatory

Heart of piece

Jagged and caught

Tearing holes in

Anatomy

Lost to me

The time when

Anti-inflammatory

Ended the story

Now stitches

Clot the blood

Won’t staunch the flood

Throat and eyes

Scratched and dried

Stop and I’d

Give the contents

And my character

And every lost

Cell and membrane

If you could build me

A scab

I’d wear it off

Wear it down

To the capsule

Where the ends meet

Where we repeat

The aches

Waiting

For the scar.

Plans

Plans

Booked, busy

No one with a ticket

To match mine

Full tank

No map

Can’t read one anyway

Dreams in the last town

Chasing letters

And numbers

Getting out

Turning back

Dots and pins

That

Keep us in

Circling the same

Round about

Again and

Again

Unable to

Wrench the wheel

Because the hands

Clenched

Are

Rigid tight

And won’t let go

Pictures

In my hozison

And posts

Stringing lines

Lies

Can’t keep eyes on

Everything

Turn, turn,

Seen this turn before

Passing again

Please pass

Haven’t made the city yet

Here in the slow lane

Short legs can’t keep up

Longer every day

Same shoes

Next to the stairs

Bounding down

Trudging up

Same bed

Next to the stairs

Crawling in

Staying forever

Unless there are

plans

So Proud of You

So proud of you

So…

Should I wait for…

You…

Almost done

Not my turn

Not my

Fundamental

Victory

Those come

In the

Parlor maids door

Serving drinks

For the quality

To celebrate

The quality of

Everything you do

You

Meant to be about you

Sorry

Forgot my choices

Again

Before

You

You won again.

So proud of you.

Not a sin

Not a single

day

Without

A confession

Leaving through

The absolvent’s curtain

Forgiving again

From both sides

Of the kneeler

Proud of the thief

Empathizing of the covetous

Stroking the vanity

Cloaking

The smile

The tears

Already masters

Of self defense

Of you.

For you

To you

This moment.

Harder to give away

When a moment

Is all you want.

And all I want

Is for the moment

To choke

On it.

When I breathed

Remembered

There weren’t hands around my neck

They were

There

And I didn’t have to prove,

I did.

I didn’t have to

But if I want to

There’s more to being proud.

I Did That

That hair,

that eyebrow

I did that.

Pile of pages

Me.

That smile.

That cry.

Closed eyes and

Tightened fist.

That trip.

20,000 words

That accident.

Out of bed.

Those steps.

Created a family vase

from shattered ceramic

Out of bed again.

Omitting all the

haven’t

can’t

won’t

because they

Don’t

Matter.

Matter

is for the cosmos.

I’m for the moon.

Read

Listened

Looked

Responded

when matter changed.

I stopped listening

To lies

Long

To act in the

short.

I looked for sun.

I cleaned up the blood.

I laid out clues

that were followed.

Talked to the stranger,

took the compliment.

Saw and

was not ashamed.

Praised through jealousy

Smiled through tears

Celebrated grief

Explained fears

I did that.

I cast a shadow and

Learned to love the darkness.

Wouldn’t give up then

Finally let go

So all the hands

could hold.

Climed the hill

treated the blisters

saw the empty trees

for the boughs

They were meant for.

Built us on a narrow road

tilled the grass

swept the gravel

for a place to weather the storm

and wait for bloom.

Not today.

But

Stands to reason

I will again

I did that.

(For the One who reminds me what I can do.)